What is your most memorable wine experience?

A Champagne Prestige Cuvee 2002 Horizontal Dinner – tasting not one, but 27 different prestige cuvees from the greatest names in Champagne from the legendary 2002 vintage in one evening, accompanied by food from Phil Howard.  Tasting all these iconic wines side by side gave an incredible insight into the unique character of each wine, all very different house styles.  The top three for me were Roederer Cristal, Taittinger Comtes and Bollinger R.D.

If you could choose any wine from the CV Top 100, which one would you pick and why?

It may sound clichéd but I would be extremely happy with a glass of Roederer Cristal 2002 everyday after getting home from work – or anywhere, for that matter!  Simply the most delicious Champagne I have ever tasted and a testament to why this region’s wines are so special.  Another choice would be Guigal, for the mature Cote Rotie, pre 2000, wines that have always been sensational and still with so much to give.

You’re throwing a dinner party and can invite anyone, dead or alive. Who do you invite and what would be your signature food and wine pairing?

My guests would be Sir Michael Caine, Roald Dahl, Keith Floyd and Bob Mortimer, four gentlemen who have been great entertainers and influences on my life.  I would have to serve them up my favourite, a BBQ with Oysters and Champagne to start, Cristal obviously!  Giant king prawns served with white Bordeaux – ideally a top vintage Pape Clement Blanc – followed by rump steak, served with a mature bottle of Shiraz such as a 90’s Penfolds Grange or a Cote Rotie.  No room for pudding, but maybe a ’76 Dom Perignon or Taittinger Comtes with an Hoyo de Monterrey Piramides to wind down the evening.


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